Two new ways to tell California to stop clearcutting our forests!

Make  your views known about forest and ecosystem destruction! Join others in demanding an end to the widespread clearcutting of our forests.  Help us get thousands of petitions signed.

  • Throughout California’s iconic Sierra Nevada, Sierra Pacific Industries is clearcutting forests, destroying wildlife habitat, and contributing to climate change. State officials can stop the destruction, but they need to know you care.
  • Unfortunately, the story of “The Lorax” is coming true in California’s forests today.

Please join us in calling on Governor Jerry Brown to stop clearcutting in the Sierra and the rest of California today. Here are two great petitions you can sign!

Petition 1: Please sign the petition to Governor Jerry Brown, which says: “Massive clearcutting in the Sierra and Cascades is destroying wildlife habitat, threatening water quality, replacing diverse forests with highly flammable tree farms and contributing to climate change. Please act today to stop clearcutting in California’s forests.”
Click linkhere to sign the petition:

Petition 2: Tell Governor Brown to Speak for the Trees! – Sign the Sierra Club Petition to Stop Clearcutting California’s Forests.

California’s forests and streams are under attack. We are calling for forest guardians LIKE YOU to fight back!It’s time to make clearcutting a thing of the past or our water, cliimate, and wildlife will not last! California’s forests provide 80 percent of our state’s water supplies. As the lungs of the Earth, they are our first line of defense against climate change.

Help us generate 10,000 signatures to make forest protection a priority for the Governor’s administration. Click link here to sign the petition





Posted in Front Page


Below is a synopsis by biologist Gwen Starrett of an article by Hicke et al (2012) re beetle-killed trees and fire.

Link to original article from Forest Ecology and Management:


What are the effects of bark beetle-caused tree mortality on wildfire?

This is my synopsis of conclusions from a paper (Hicke et al. 2012) that synthesized previously published studies on this topic.

Effects on fire behavior and fuel loading depend on the phases beetle-killed  trees go through after a beetle attack.  The authors describe these as:

1)     Red phase – needles are dry and still on tree

2)     Gray phase – needles off

3)     Old phase – regrowth and understory development

How does fuel loading change through time? Canopy fuel remains unchanged until the gray phase when it decreases.  Then it increases in the old phase due to regrowth.  As needles fall, the fine surface fuels increase then decrease as they decompose.  Coarse fuels increase significantly during the  old phase as larger branches and snags fall.  Ladder fuels increase during the gray and old phases as shrubs and seedlings take hold.

How does fire behavior change with these changes in fuel?  Starting in the red phase and continuing with time, the surface fire behavior properties increase due to surface fuel loads.  These surface fire behavior properties are: rate of spread, reaction intensity, flame length.

Torching potential, the potential for a surface fire igniting a tree or group trees, increases in the red phase because of the low moisture in dead needles.  While needle drop might seem to help this problem, the increased surface loads and no change in canopy base height more than offset the benefits.

The potential for an active crown fire increases in the red phase because of the dead needles.  However, during the grey phase, this potential declines substantially as needles drop and dead branches fall.  Crown fire potential then increases again with regrowth.

How does tree mortality affect the probability of fire occurrence and burn severity?

In the red phase:  The authors expect that crown fires will increase in the red phase due to higher torching potential and active crown fire potential.  Probability of surface fires is not expected to increase.

In the gray phase and old phases:  The authors are uncertain about crown fire probability since likelihood may decrease due to canopy bulk density, but may increase due to increased torching potential.  Surface fire probability increases due to increased surface fuel loads.

Burn severity is unchanged in the red phase but increases in the next phases due to increased surface loads.

The most disagreement in the above conclusions was with the earliest post outbreak phase and crown fire behavior.

How does tree mortality compare to other factors in increasing fire risk?

“The effect of beetle outbreaks on probability of occurrence or burn severity were smaller than other drivers such as climate, tophography, blowdown, and cover type.”  However, these studies have not compared beetle killed- tree areas to unattacked stands with similar conditions.  The authors suggest that more research is needed to tease out the specific factors that best indicate when fires would become more likely or more intense.  For example, fire behavior may change only under some environmental conditions, such as during intermediate wind speeds or specific atmospheric moisture levels.


Posted in Uncategorized

New report on the low cost and low returns of removing forests for water in the Sierra

Environment Now just released a report examining the idea of using logging to increase water flows. This is an old idea, but it has received renewed attention in recent years. Therefore, EN commissioned hydrologist Jonathan Rhodes and fisheries scientist Christopher Frissell to examine this topic. They have done an in-depth review of the scientific literature, building on more than 230 studies, and have identified many omissions, downsides, and errors in the logging-for-water schemes. The report is available at:


Posted in Uncategorized

Pesticide use in Calaveras County forested watersheds

Calaveras County4White Pines Lake Watershed6









Pesticides (including herbicides and poisons for rodents) are used by industrial logging companies in our forested watersheds throughout California.  These toxic chemicals primarily are used in clearcutting and industrial tree plantations vs. selection harvesting.

Companies like Sierra Pacific Industries use these chemicals to destroy native plants and prevent small mammals from chewing on small trees. This summer EPFW was fortunate to have some help and developed these maps showing chemical use in the forested watersheds of Calaveras county As you can see on these maps these forested areas contain small and larger streams that then flow  throughout our watersheds.

Clearcutting and industrial tree plantations pose threats to climate change, water and snowmelt and wildlife and native plants.  Isn’t it time we demand logging practices that provide us with healthy real forests that are resilient to climate change, drought, beetle and provide functioning ecosystems?.

Posted in Uncategorized


IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE, APRIL 7, 2015 CONTACT:  Karen Maki, Sierra Club, 650-346-0467, MENLO PARK PASSES RESOLUTION TO BAN CLEARCUT LOGGING IN CALIFORNIA  Menlo Park, CA– On Tuesday April 7, 2015, Menlo Park’s City Council passed a resolution to call … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Request for aerial view of clearcutting in Calaveras

Recently someone asked for aerial views of clearcuts in Calaveras County. Here are a few including some around Big Trees State Park.Google Earth Image - Summit Level Road Calaveras County 2012 Tons more – let us know what you want to see more of!  See old old oaks – important to wildlife cut to burn in past logging plan. The one with the Google on it is from 2012 from a special EPFW flight now presented on Google. Try clicking on the images and copying or sending if you want to,SPI-owned land in Calaveras County_DSC6698 annotatedaerial mok150 year old oaks at Deer Creek

Posted in Uncategorized

Large new SPI clearcutting plan in Calaveras -Swiss Ranch

Sierra Pacific Industries to clearcut log near Arnold, CA
(photo from CSERC of typical clearcut)

THP 4-14-006 CAL (Swiss Ranch THP) Sierra Pacific Industries; 361acres; 72% clearcut, 25% no-harvest, 1% shelterwood, 1% selection, 1% roadside logging. Upper O’Neil Creek, Fine Gold Mine, Upper Jesus Maria Creek (MD: T5N R14E Sec.2, 3, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 24). Winter operations, high erosion hazard, steep slopes up to 60%, unstable areas in units 1770 & 1099, herbicides, 7 CA spotted owls within 1.3mi, goshawk territory within .25 mi, trees up to 42” dbh. Estimated public comment deadline: 04/25/14.VIEW
This THP is about 3 miles NW of Arnold, CA and Highway 4 near the South Fork of the Mokelumne River. Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a mostly clearcut tractor and cable logging operation in ponderosa pine, sugar pine, white fir, Douglas fir and incense cedar forests at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,700 feet. Several prominent swales are located inside units 1770 and 1099. SPI is planning to use excavators for fuels work on slopes greater than 30% that lead without flattening into a class II watercourse. There are also 2 oversized units, and 89 acres of so-called operational buffers outside of units to be used for skid trails, landings and for fire line construction. The Irish Creek goshawk territory is located within 1,600 feet of THP units. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.


Posted in Uncategorized

Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club urge California to get clearcutting out of cap and trade

Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club urge CARB to get clearcutting out of cap and trade Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club urge CARB to get clearcutting out of cap and trade Groups give billionaire timber baron … Continue reading

Posted in clearcutting, Uncategorized

SPI plans more clearcutting near Hwy 4 & Cottage Springs

Sierra Pacific Industries has just announced their plans for even more clearcuts in Calaveras County  – this logging plan is  near Cottage Springs and Highway 4. EPFW will be reviewing this and two other new very large clearcutting plans in our County.  Isn’t enough clearcutting done already SPI – over 26 square miles in this County alone.

THP 4-13-024 CAL (Blackjack THP) Sierra Pacific Industries, 409 acres; 74% clearcut, 24% no-harvest, 2% selection logging.  Airola Creek (MD: T6N R16E Sec.9, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21).  Winter operations, moderate erosion hazard, slopes up to 50%, herbicides, 1 goshawk territory within 1 mi, 5 CA spotted owls within 1.3mi, 4 sensitive plant species, trees up to 68″ dbh.  Estimated public comment deadline: 12/20/13.

This THP is 1 mile north of Cottage Springs, CA near Highway 4 and about 8 miles NE of Arnold, CA.  The THP area drains into the South Fork of the Mokelumne River and is in an area that has been heavily clearcut in the past.  Sierra Pacific Industries is planning a clearcut tractor based logging operation in incense cedar, white fir, sugar pine and ponderosa pine forests at an elevation of 5,200 to 6,200 feet. They are planning to use an excavator for site preparation on slopes under 50%, and on slopes over 30% that lead without flattening to a class II watercourse.  98 acres of so called “operational area buffers” are planned for some limited tree removal outside of unit boundaries, and for the construction of fire lines, tail holds, skid trails, site prep and to access landings, roads, etc.  There is 1 goshawk territory in section 20, and threebract onion habitat was reported near units 3507, 3508, 3535 and 3228, Small’s south clarkia habitat was reported near 3105, 3217 and 3530, and scalloped moonwort and Mingan’s moonwort habitat was reported near units 3104 and 3228. More information is available on the THP Tracking Center website.

Posted in clearcutting, Front Page

Is Sierra Pacific Industries “green” SFI certification “greenwashing”?

Is Sierra Pacific Industries’ clearcutting under the so called “green” SFI certification “greenwashing”?  You decide.

Sierra Pacific Industries claims that their clearcut logging methods are environmentally friendly and sustainable and proudly stands behind their SFI forest certification.  Last week,  however, according to an excellent report in the New Your TImes,  “two environmental groups, Forest Ethics and Greenpeace, filed a complaint with the trade commission claiming that an organization that certifies paper and other forest products as “green” is a front group for the timber industry and violates the agency’s new standards for such claims. They call it a classic case of falsely claiming that a product or service is somehow more environmentally friendly or sustainable than similar products.

Forest Ethics and Greenpeace charge that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, or S.F.I., a group originally formed by big timber companies, defrauds the public by certifying that products carrying its label are harvested using only environmentally responsible practices. The environmental groups say that some of the companies using the S.F.I. label engage in damaging forestry methods like clear-cutting, overusing pesticides and destroying habitats or rare species”.

Read the whole article at


Posted in clearcutting, Good Forestry, Uncategorized

TV commercials Against Clearcutting in California

TV Commercials Against  Clearcutting in California
Two new TV commercials  against clearcutting and urging Governor Jerry Brown to take action have  begun airing in the Sacramento area. They were sponsored by the Battle Creek Alliance and are being aired by Comcast. They are being shown on CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery   Channel. They can also be viewed on YouTube at:     and


Posted in clearcutting